A group are running colouring sessions in the Quayside Lowry Outlet to raise money for a children’s charity. 

This group was set up by the Innit Creative Hub and all the proceeds from this group will go to the Innit For Young People Charity, which helps children who are on the edge of exclusion stay in school.

According to data, 97 per cent of children who are permanently excluded from education end up in prison, so they aim to break that chain and help these children find a happier focus and mindset through art.

This was inspired by the founder’s own story who was permanently excluded when he was 13 and ended up in prison yet found solace through art when he was older.

Micky Dacks, Founder and CEO of the charity and the colouring group, spoke on the benefits of working with colour: “The mind is multi-coloured, we are all palettes of colours.

Colour is in everyone’s life, you might feel it, sense it or see it differently but colour is everywhere, it aligns you to your senses and is representative of your feelings. This group is a safe space for people to come together and unite in their love of colouring.”

He also spoke on the success the colouring group,  saying: “We’ve got 29 different artists in this community gallery; it is completely reliant on them, and we’ve made selling artists of them all.

Our youngest artist is eight and our oldest is 76, we’ve got artists with disabilities, LGBTQ+ artists, and artists of different ethnicities and this shows in their work. This place is a hub for the local community to have an outlet for their art.”

When they sell their art, the charity gets 30 per cent and the artists themselves get a 70 per cent share.

Volunteer Wendy comes to every session due to the community benefits “Being retired means I don’t often see people, so I enjoy meeting others as it gives me an insight into other walks of life. It brings the community together.”

Wendy’s husband, Keith said: “I love art, I love working with my hands, I just like drawing and messing about with colours.”

He reminisced on an experience when he was younger when his art was in a school art show: “The mayor of Eccles came in and chose my artwork as he liked it and wanted the piece for himself. It was a painting of a lady carrying fruit on her head.

“The mayor was my uncle, but he didn’t know it was my artwork. He put it in the mayor’s office and took it with him down to Wrexham as well when he became a minister, so art has always been a part of my life.”

Angela Lea, born in Salford and deputy CEO of the charity since 2019, was a teacher for 20 years and saw education was failing children and wanted to make a difference.

Angela added: “I wanted to step away from the system and make change. Our aim is to help children stay in school and stay out of trouble.

“We meet children who display negative behaviours in school, and we take in colours, paper and junk and get to know them in an unformal way. This helps them let their guard down and express their feelings through art, colouring music and theatre.”

She also spoke on how the group can benefit people: “The colouring group is a nice opportunity for the group to get together and pause whatever is going on in their lives, meet new people, have a break and colour in a nice zen space.”

These sessions happen every Tuesday in the creative hub upstairs in The Lowry Designer Outlet at F21 Quayside Salford and more information can be found here.

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